Ideas, Bereft of Remembrance

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The Lethe. It's a one of those words that has popped into my mind over the last week. In case you don't know, the Lethe is the name of a river that, when you tap into it, you become forgetful of everything. The sleep of Lethe is one I have no doubt many Americans are indulging in these days, amidst the tough times and economic hardships. Yet, I'm curious as what ideas are bereft of know, ideas that are worth remembering but continue to be...forgotten in our daily life.

One possibility includes a point written here in ELT Notes: IWBs and the Fallacy of Integration: Learning, unlike motivation, has a long-term consequenceWe need autonomous, self-motivated students in love with the process of how humanity has learnt.  Certainly, powerful ideas we should remember when we consider how technology will be used in schools, but easily forgotten.

As educators, forgetfulness is, oh so delicious. We thirst for forgetfulness, especially after the long years of torture that NCLB has imposed. We can weep like Dante at being denied the right to drink from waters of forgetfulness, unable to wipe out the memory of sins committed against us as educators, as parents, as students, and as Americans. Some of the ideas expressed--as I understand them--in Claudia's blog entry on the Fallacy of Integration are bereft of remembrance:

  • Learning has long-term consequences
  • We need autonomous, self-motivated students in love with the process of how humanity has learnt.
  • We can't control hierarchies or levels at a time when technology short circuits them
  • Innovation is about being different
  • Formal courses are for those who are learning, not to teach those who do not wish to learn.
  • Learning is about relationships, about connections
In the end, though, these are conversations that teachers have. Administrators have different conversations, something I didn't experience until I became one. Will hierarchies change? Not sure, but love this piece, Informal Learning Hits Brick Walls:
Will organizational structure disappear? Hierarchies will persist as predictable as the sun will rise tomorrow. Hence, how do we make the informal learning work, live within these structures and move around, play around, approach problems and deal with issues pertaining to reporting responsibilities? 
When a teacher, I asked, "How can they be making these decisions?" As an administrator, I found out how but, thankfully, didn't lose the question, "How can they be making these decisions?" Administrators have different agendas...aligning those to what is the conversation focused on learning is a systemic problem that keeps change from happening.

Perhaps, it is how the system is set up.

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Claudia Ceraso said…
My thoughts are filtered through yours in the last two bullets. Now I am wondering. The idea that formal teaching works provided other people want to learn that way may summarize the reality of any formal teaching effectiveness.

I am not sure we need to remember the basics. As reflective practitioners we need to detect when our words and actions do not seem to match.

I think we need to face the contradictions without too much pain. Being a teacher and then an administrator, I think, gives you a unique perspective I always enjoy reading and learning from.

Thank you for this.


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